Let me tell you about a magical place…
A clifftop glamping tent overlooking an endless strand of beach. So completely tucked away that it requires an off-road vehicle (okay, a golf cart) to reach it. It comes with a fully stocked fridge, an outdoor tub and twin hammocks.
Pure bliss. It’s part of Castaways Resort in South Auckland’s Waiuku, just above Kariotahi Beach.
Back in June, I did a project at work with the wanderlust-inspiring Kiwis in Flight, and at the time the last video they produced was about Castaways. I was immediately sold. But the next available booking for one of the three glamping tents wasn’t until the end of September, which happened to be our wedding anniversary. I quickly snapped it up and hoped for good weather.
After a whirlwind three weeks back home in the US, followed immediately by an amazing weekend showing San Francisco friends around Auckland, we needed some time to chill. To truly unplug. And that’s exactly what Castaways served up. Even the “winter” weather cooperated.
Saturday morning started with a leisurely drive into a no cell service zone. Then a couple’s massage at the beautiful spa.
With my head still tingling, we checked in at reception and were given the keys to our very own golf cart and an ambiguous map to navigate our way through cow paddocks to our very own retreat.
But first, we took our own car down to the beach below and got to drive its length! Only in NZ…
After bumping along on our golf cart expedition and arriving at our site, there was no keeping track of time or order of activities. We relaxed in the clifftop tub reading, chatting and listening to Dave Matthews Band until the sun set below the horizon and our fingers and toes were completely shriveled. And repeated it all over again in the morning.
We cooked both dinner and breakfast in our tent. Castaways completely prepped both meals. So for dinner, all we had to do was take our steak and veggies out of their separate tupperware containers in the fridge, and toss them on the grill. With a glass on wine in hand! They even left us snacks, a few beers and the most enormous slice of chocolate cake!
If you’re looking for all-inclusive relaxation, I can’t recommend Castaways enough. I was a bit skeptical the quality of food or accomodation wouldn’t live up to the clever marketing and Instagram fame, but it was worth every kiwi dollar spent!
Plus there was a cat 🙂